San Antonio Food Bank (2012), San Antonio, TX

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COMMUNITY IMPACT

The San Antonio Food Bank (SAFB), the 14th largest food bank in the country, serves 16 counties in Southwest Texas. The mission of SAFB is to fight hunger through food distribution, service programs, education, and advocacy. SAFB partners with more than 530 agencies to deliver food (45 million pounds in 2011) and services to 58,000 people per week. SAFB operates 34 programs in six core areas: Food Distribution, Client Services, Nutrition and Health (including operating a 5.4 acre farm), Disaster Relief, Job Training and Placement, and Social Enterprises. SAFB is the most important source of food for emergency food providers in a region, in which 19% of the residents live in poverty. When the recession hit in 2008, the demand for SAFB’s food distribution drastically increased, and it expanded food distribution from 35 million pounds in 2009. Demand is to grow to an estimated 60 million pounds in 2014, a 71% overall increase. However, SAFB’s ability to meet this growing demand is constrained by its facility and storage capacity limitations, especially for fresh and healthy food. To help meet this demand, the Texas Mezzanine Fund and National New Markets Fund provided $13 million and $14 million NMTC loans, respectively, to help finance a $28.3 million expansion project. This project will double the overall facility to 204,000 sq. ft., more than double food storage capacity, and triple the cold storage space available for healthy fresh and frozen foods. A new pavilion will be constructed for new community service programs and weekly farmer’s markets. SAFB will enhance its environmental stewardship by adding a wind turbine to supplement the existing rooftop solar panel array, triple its water catchment capacity, and incorporate gray water reuse for its farm from an adjacent food processing facility. Its pilot Workforce Development Initiative will receive designated client service space and expand staffing. The expansion project will help increase SAFB’s food distribution by 33%, including its ruralserving Mobile Pantry Program. Over the next 6-7 years, SAFB will expand its staff by an additional 105 employees, many likely filled by low-income workers.

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